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East End News

Retail/restaurant coming to Lava Lofts?

An ordinance seeking permission to add retail space (PDF) to the Lava Lofts will be presented to the City of Richmond Planning Commission on April 1:

To amend Ord. No. 2011-20-32, adopted Mar. 14, 2011, which authorized the special use of the property known as 310 North 33rd Street for the purpose of the conversion of the existing building to a multifamily dwelling with up to 50 units, to additionally authorize principal commercial uses permitted on corner lots in the R-63 Multifamily Urban Residential District on the property, upon certain terms and conditions. (Mayor Jones – By Request) {Planning Commission – April 15, 2013}

Passage of this would make available 2,500 feet of retail space in the building. From the application:

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 10.48.45 AM

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Stephanie 03/28/2013 at 11:34 AM

Would love for this to happen, nothing better than walking down a flight of steps to get food and a beer.

john_m 03/28/2013 at 11:44 AM

When I was in New Orleans, I lived over top of a 24-hour bar and right next to a Popeye’s. It was heaven.

Alex 03/28/2013 at 11:48 AM

Who needs this when they’ve already got Blue Wheeler? Blue Wheeler carries all of that and you can buy drugs from the guy who hangs out all day in front of the store to boot.

All kidding aside, this would be a nice option and would be a much classier alternative for folks on that side of the hill who want something besides chips and 40s.

Chimborazo Neighbor 03/28/2013 at 12:34 PM

No freakin way….the developer already broke zoning rules and bribed her way through the city hall approval process to develop this building with its current number of units. Now they want it commercial too?

D.O'K 03/28/2013 at 1:59 PM

A retail space would be great for the neighborhood! More activity on the street makes a safer street. I support this.

crd 03/28/2013 at 2:26 PM

#4 Chimbo neighbor, do you live nearby? I don’t, I’m closer to 26th and Broad, but I’m guessing that parking would be a problem if it’s a successful restaurant. The idea of all these ‘walk to’ destinations is not the reality; there are a lot of people who drive to some places.

Proper Pie is great but try parking on the surrounding streets – sure, they get some walkers, but judging by the amount of cars, they’re also getting a lot of people who drive there. I’d think it would be the same elsewhere. On the other hand, I also agree with #5 that more activity generally makes a safer street (Blue Wheeler exempted when the activity is drug activity).

John Vetrovec 03/28/2013 at 3:06 PM

I live directly behind the building on 32nd St. Parking will be leased from Mt Carmel Church who owns the two vacant lots between 311 and 317. The parking will only be for the business and not for Lava Loft residents to use as that violates city tenets because it’s not R-63 on my block, rather R-7. Margaret of FHP broached me and my family about this before she went to CH Zoning with the proposal. I gave her my backing as I thought it was a reasonable request that would not impose on me or my neighbors. I look forward to it, and PLEASE be either Olio or Libbie Market coming in!

Chimborazo Neighbor 03/28/2013 at 3:56 PM

Did anyone notice the 70 patron part? That is what concerns me.

Several years ago, we met with zoning and lobbied to keep this building zoned for 30 units. We succeeded.

When the developer met with zoning and asked for a variance to make it a 50 unit building, they were denied.

The developer then hired our council ((which the same developer was negotiating to buy) all spoke in favor of this variance. The immediate neighbors spoke against it. We lost.

Our concern was, is, and will be PARKING. This building has none.

john 03/28/2013 at 4:13 PM

Viable dining, etc are a vital component of a vibrant neighborhood, even if it comes at the expense of parking.

Kev 03/28/2013 at 4:57 PM

70 patrons is a lot. I’d guess that Hill Cafe only seats 40, or that the Roosevelt or Dutch and Company seat around 50.

BAC 03/28/2013 at 8:53 PM

Parking might be tight but come on, it can’t be that bad. Where I live on Marshall we have to deal with the daily commuters that park on our block and then take the bus to VCU. An inconvenience, yes, a pain, sort of, bad enough where I can’t deal with it, hardly. It’s a city, there are people. If it turns out to be as advertised this is great news.

Chimborazo Neighbor 03/28/2013 at 10:28 PM

So zoning laws are to be totally disregarded? Seriously? There are other options. The Chimbo Market is huge and just dying to be madeover. Plus ithas parking. It could house a couple of small eateries and a market.

bozatwork 03/28/2013 at 11:41 PM

I’m all for it if it means more local business in Church Hill, more foot traffic, more dining options and positive news coverage. Selfishly I would like it to highlight the slumlords of Marshall Street between Chimborazo and 33rd. The residential on that block is atrocious and the commercial opposite side of the street needs help. Block by block improvements are happening so we should encourage those making investments.

Jon Walle 03/29/2013 at 5:22 AM

I thought every possible space had been rented. Am I missing something?

Lucky Canine 03/29/2013 at 8:38 AM

I live next to Lava Lofts and I support this project. While I always supported the rennovation of the building, I did oppose the density and lack of parking. Now that the rennovation is done and most of the units leased, I can say that my fears have proved unfounded. Parking has not been a big issue. Having more people around the area has been great. I think the commercial venture will be awesome. Marshall Street is supposed to be a business corridor and large sections of the street look like Beruit. We need an anchor on our end of the street and I think Lava Lofts provides that for us.

joe 03/29/2013 at 9:07 AM

You people that constantly whine about parking should walk around and look at places where once beautiful buildings were torn down for ugly surface parking. As others have said its the city. They have lots of ugly parking in the suburbs maybe you should relocate. You cant have everything.

Amy N-B 03/29/2013 at 10:22 AM

This is totally exciting! I’ve noticed no change in parking issues since LL opened or WPA or Dutch and Co or any of the other businesses in the Eastern part of Church Hill/Marshall St. Further more this is a casual market concept which is something that we have needed for a long time in CH. We almost had it in the space that became Anthony’s and HOH tried. That said, the Wheeler has some great beer selections these days and the guys who run it have always been very nice.

Karen 03/29/2013 at 4:08 PM

Amy N-B, I would disagree with the changes in parking since WPA and Dutch & Co have opened (I live on 27th st) however, we are not complaining at all! We think it’s great to see so many people enjoying what that corner has to offer!!!!

P Mayo 03/29/2013 at 6:18 PM

‘The Chimbo Market is huge and just dying to be madeover. Plus ithas parking.’

Have you ever actually been inside? It’s not “dying” to be made over and I don’t imagine the owners are “dying” to sell.

Zookeeper 04/02/2013 at 10:42 AM

We heard from a reliable source that the Urban Farmhouse is set to go to the Lava Lofts. If so, we are holding our breath waiting for it all to make it through the city process.

ray 04/02/2013 at 2:38 PM

Urban Farmhouse expanding from busy Shockoe Slip to a an untested and relatively invisible location near Chimbo?

Seems like stretch to me but what do I know? Hope it happens!

Planning Commission to review commercial uses at Lava Loft, new park for Fulton ‹ Church Hill People's News 04/12/2013 at 6:20 AM

[…] To authorize commercial use at 310 North 33rd Street [MORE] […]

City Council tackles bicycles, new park in Fulton, more... - RVANews 04/23/2013 at 8:58 AM

[…] Ord. No. 2013-75 authorizes the special use of the property known as 310 North 33rd Street to additionally authorize principal commercial uses permitted on corner lots in the R-63 […]

chpn 04/23/2013 at 9:36 PM

“Urban Farmhouse is about to announce plans to open its third location in a residential building in north Church Hill.”

Dave 10/06/2013 at 10:09 AM

A banner was placed on the Lava Lofts sign saying Urban Farmhouse was “opening soon”. Anyone have any more information about this? There is nothing on the Urban Farmhouse website that says anything about it. I for one, who lives at Chimbo & 33rd, am thrilled if this becomes a reality…

Lucky Canine 10/06/2013 at 11:03 AM

I am a neighbor of the Lava Lofts and what I was told by them is that the Urban Farmhouse has signed a lease. Very very exciting! Lava Lofts has been great for our block and I think Urban Farmhouse will make it even better. Urban Farmhouse currently operates 2 other locations – one in Shockoe Slip and another in Midlothian.

clay st resident 10/07/2013 at 9:34 AM

Happy to hear this is finally happening. Urban Farmhouse will be a great addition to the neighborhood!

Urban Farmhouse aiming for December opening ‹ Church Hill People's News 10/08/2013 at 8:11 PM

[…] Seven months after coming onto the radar, Style Weekly has an update on the coming Urban Farmhouse […]

Urban Farmhouse is now open! ‹ CHPN 01/08/2014 at 11:10 AM

[…] Nine months after popping up on the radar, the Urban Farmhouse at Lava Lofts opened for business today. […]


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